Friday, April 11, 2014

Nature! Big Trees! Yosemite tomorrow!

Big Trees
"Accidents in the mountains are less common than in the lowlands, and these mountain mansions are decent, delightful, even divine, places to die in, compared with the doleful chambers of civilization. Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain-passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action. Even the sick should try these so-called dangerous passes, because for every unfortunate they kill, they cure a thousand." - John Muir
Ever since spring has come I've been full steam into getting active and craving some nature. Last weekend we went to Calaveras Big Trees State Park which I love because it's a close-ish drive and so neat to see such enormous trees. Just look at the top picture...that's me standing on a fallen tree! Look how huge it is! (For reference, I am 5'6".)

Big Trees 2

We were surprised that the recent rains meant snow even at that elevation (approx 4000 ft) and there were still some small patches of snow on the ground during our hike even though it was 70 degrees out.

Big Trees 3

The park even has a "warming hut" near the trail heads where they have a fire inside in the middle of the room and they offer you warm drinks to warm up after your hikes. This weekend was the last weekend they had it open and it was pretty neat but almost a bit silly because it wasn't cold out. I did find out, though, that they have snowshoes for rent in the winter so you can wear snow shoes to go hike the trails. Maybe we'll have to do that sometime!

Big Trees 4

Why am I reminiscing about last weekend's trip this Friday night? Because I am getting pumped up! The car is packed and we are going to Yosemite tomorrow!!! I haven't been since I was eight months pregnant. (I got quite a few looks hiking about, lol.) Yosemite very well may be one of my favorite places on the entire earth. I feel so amazing about life when I am there. It really is the best getaway from life. It is the kind of place that "resets" you and refreshes you. The quote at the beginning of this post is from the second chapter of Meditations of John Muir (which I actually picked up at Yosemite two trips ago). When I first read this passage, I immediately stopped reading and just re-read it again and again because it spoke to me. (I'm not doing any "dangerous passes" but I never fail to feel "cured" and my apathy killed.) John Muir's writings repeatedly liken the beauty and greatness of the Sierra's to being it's own religion and it's they only temple you'd need. So, as some people are freshened each week by going to church, I am reset and refreshed by going back into nature.

I will be sure to take lots of pictures and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'll leave you with just one more passage:

"So abundant and novel are the objects of interest in a pure wilderness that unless you are pursuing special studies it matters little where you go, or how often to the same place. Wherever you chance to be always seems at the moment of all places the best; and you feel that there can be no happiness in this world or in any other for those who may not be happy here." - John Muir
- Mrs. 246

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